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Old 10-02-2018, 04:36 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by shenrie View Post
...Iíve seen the prices for what I bought in 2012 almost double for what I paid for my van. That could very well taper off and bottom out if the vanlife trend dies out...
It could also reverse course if SMB hits a home run with the E350 cutaway based Classic. If folks can get a new vehicle, they will have no incentive to pay top dollar for old ones.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether the cabin of this vehicle can withstand the stresses of Class 4 trails. If they don't actually have that leak problem solved, forget it.
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Old 10-07-2018, 04:14 PM   #22
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The body-on-frame E350 is of course the most rugged, off-road capable and coolest looking choice! We went with the high roof unibody 4x4 option to get us through snow and to remote forest service campgrounds. We chose a new unibody because none of the tough trails near us (Ouray and Moab) could be traversed by any van-sized vehicle no mater how ruggedized. Instead we use the 4x4 van for the moderate trails, and a rock-crawler Jeep and e pedal-assist mountain bikes for the really tough stuff. We carry the mountain bikes and our kayaks vertically on a rack behind the van, and thus can go almost anywhere.

It seems to me that there are very few roads that are in between what a unibody 4x4 can do, and those that require a swb Jeep or FJ. If I am wrong, could somebody please tell me where the cool trails are that can handle a full size van and require E350 ruggedness, but don't require small, short wheel base vehicles? We are going to do the 100 mile White Rim loop road in Canyonlands NP in a few weeks. Is that such a road? While we'd like to take our 4x4 SMB Sprinter on this overnight overland expo, I think we should take a Jeep and tent. Does anyone know if White Rim is one of those in-between roads?

(P.S. we chose the 4x4 Sprinter rather than the Quigly transit because I am about 6'2". If I could stand up in a HR Transit, that probably would have been my first choice)


Thanks - OurayMark
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Old 10-07-2018, 06:16 PM   #23
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I love this forum and appreciate all the solid advice.
It was a REALLY tough choice (Price of both the new Transit HR Quigley and 2010 V10 Ujoint were discounted from original quotes).
I ended up buying the E350 for the following reasons:
1. This is my 1st adventure van and I'll probably put some dings in it that will give me heartache if brand new.
2. Owner was retired AF jet engine mechanic, now a carpenter, who kept it in MINT condition. He knew when to hire pros but was also capable to do some interior mods.
3. Only 7k miles on the conversion...so I paid for the conversion and the van was thrown in for 'free'.
4. I can use it now as a camper without sinking more $ into it...that will allow me time to figure out my must-haves. In fact, I stopped at Bass Pro Shop and Walmart after picking it up and spent the night in a dispersed camping area in Pisgah Forest on the drive home.
5. I like the idea of bullet-proof even if it means sacrificing mileage and a van I can stand up in 24/7...I'll ask about the pros/cons of raised hard-top vs penthouse pop-top in future thread.
6. Price
Hopefully the photos comes through... here she is...as well as a view from the summit where I hiked the day after purchase/maiden camping voyage
https://photos.google.com/album/AF1Q...cOTM3NoozJcF9l
https://photos.google.com/album/AF1Q...5D2WP7EsFZc8Nq
https://photos.google.com/album/AF1Q...3aFdLcdhEhPfAz
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Old 10-07-2018, 06:29 PM   #24
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Your photos didnít come through because they require a Google account which I donít have.

Too bad - I would love to see it.
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Old 10-07-2018, 06:44 PM   #25
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Trying to resend photos
Attached Thumbnails
01717_5v5v6DVJxhl_600x450.jpg   00i0i_4S57V7JruCW_600x450.jpg   00808_dJCm7pTu5dL_600x450.jpg   01717_fiFsrp0u00G_600x450.jpg   IMG_0330.jpg  

IMG_0325 (2).jpg  
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Old 10-07-2018, 06:47 PM   #26
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Awesome photos. Congratulations!
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Old 10-07-2018, 06:51 PM   #27
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Congratulations DD!

Your new van looks beautiful AND tough DD! I am sure you will have an absolute blast with it. I like the ARB lockers. I have those on my Jeep with beefed up 1-ton Terraflex axles. They have gotten me out of some sticky situations. I wish I had ARB lockers on my 4x4 van too.
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Old 10-07-2018, 07:29 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OurayMark View Post
The body-on-frame E350 is of course the most rugged, off-road capable and coolest looking choice! We went with the high roof unibody 4x4 option to get us through snow and to remote forest service campgrounds. We chose a new unibody because none of the tough trails near us (Ouray and Moab) could be traversed by any van-sized vehicle no mater how ruggedized. Instead we use the 4x4 van for the moderate trails, and a rock-crawler Jeep and e pedal-assist mountain bikes for the really tough stuff. We carry the mountain bikes and our kayaks vertically on a rack behind the van, and thus can go almost anywhere.

It seems to me that there are very few roads that are in between what a unibody 4x4 can do, and those that require a swb Jeep or FJ. If I am wrong, could somebody please tell me where the cool trails are that can handle a full size van and require E350 ruggedness, but don't require small, short wheel base vehicles? We are going to do the 100 mile White Rim loop road in Canyonlands NP in a few weeks. Is that such a road? While we'd like to take our 4x4 SMB Sprinter on this overnight overland expo, I think we should take a Jeep and tent. Does anyone know if White Rim is one of those in-between roads?

(P.S. we chose the 4x4 Sprinter rather than the Quigly transit because I am about 6'2". If I could stand up in a HR Transit, that probably would have been my first choice)


Thanks - OurayMark
The White Rim Trail has been completed by 2WD WV vans as well as by Jay Shapiro's custom 40'+ F-650 based EcoRoamer. See pics here.

If you have the funds, you might want to look at towing an Adventure Trailer behind the Jeep. They will go anywhere the Jeep can go. They come in tent pop-ups as well as teardrops, both with exterior rear kitchen built in. See here.

Once on a visit at SMB-W, I saw a Sprinter in for maintenance. It was yellow and was towing a Jeep Rubicon painted the exact same color. The owner said she and her husband live on the west slope of the Sierra and always tow the Jeep when on outings. They go as far as they can with the Sprinter, park it, then take the Jeep. She stated the MPG hit for towing was negligible (her claim-not mine) and that they noticed no acceleration loss when passing on uphills in the Sierra (again-her claim-not mine).

Of course, a train of Sprinter, Jeep, Adventure Trailer would be illegal most everywhere, though once or twice I've seen:
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Old 10-07-2018, 07:47 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomH View Post
Once on a visit at SMB-W, I saw a Sprinter in for maintenance. It was yellow and was towing a Jeep Rubicon painted the exact same color. The owner said she and her husband live on the west slope of the Sierra and always tow the Jeep when on outings. They go as far as they can with the Sprinter, park it, then take the Jeep. She stated the MPG hit for towing was negligible (her claim-not mine) and that they noticed no acceleration loss when passing on uphills in the Sierra (again-her claim-not mine).
TomW it sounds like you're talking about this yellow SMB Sprinter+Jeep from member @fremebe. She posted three videos of her setup recently - pretty unique and worth watching.
https://youtu.be/ohbIJ-Ne6K8
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Old 10-07-2018, 07:48 PM   #30
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Donna that thing is sweet! Had you posted the pictures first I would have said, "No brainer, the E350!" Congratulations!
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